Denver Broncos offensive linesman John Moffitt, 27, announced on Tuesday that he is walking away from the NFL and more than $1 million in compensation because he wants to be healthy and happy and if he continued playing the game he might not find that.
"Football was fun but my head hurts – haha kidding roger goodell. I'm on to new things, thanks to everyone along the way!!!" the third-year guard from Wisconsin tweeted on Tuesday. It was the same day he was placed on the team's reserve/left team list according to The Associated Press.
Moffitt, who had signed a four-year contract worth nearly $3 million with the Broncos, walked away from more than $1 million in potential compensation, including an estimated $312,500 for the remainder of the current season and $752,500 in non-guaranteed salary in 2014, according to The Associated Press.
"I just really thought about it and decided I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all," explained Moffitt. "And I think it's really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money. Everybody, they just don't get it and they think it's crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy," he said.
He explained that his decision was driven by what he felt in his heart and wasn't worried about not having a Super Bowl legacy.
"I don't care about the Super Bowl. I don't," he said. "I used to. I mean, anytime I played this game, I gave my heart to it and I'm a person that does things with his heart. ... I don't need the Super Bowl experience. I played in great stadiums and I played against great players. And I had that experience and it's enough."
In his 2 ½ seasons in the NFL, the offensive linesman reportedly made $1.8 million before taxes and he feels that is enough money for him to move on and be happy.
"I've saved enough. It's not like I'm sitting here and I'm a millionaire," he said. "That's what I kind of realized. I'm sitting here and I got to this point and I was like, what is the number that you need? How much do you really need? What do you want in life? And I decided that I don't really need to be a millionaire.
"I just want to be happy. And I find that people that have the least in life are sometimes the happiest. And I don't have the least in life. I have enough in life. And I won't sacrifice my health for that," he said.
Moffitt, who describes his father as "my best friend," explained that he planned on spending more time with his parents in Connecticut and with his girlfriend and her 5-year-old daughter in Seattle. He is also looking forward to his life outside the NFL.
"Once you tear away all the illusions of it, it's hard work. And it's dangerous work. And you're away from your family. And it's not good for families. It's very tough on families," he said.
"I'm ready to go to work and start doing other things right now," Moffitt added. "So, it's a smoother transition and I'm still young enough to start a career and my body's healthy and I'm good. I look at it as a great start to life, you know?"